We spoke with GigCompare founder, Charlie Kemp, about building an app that helps gig workers like Uber drivers and Instacart deliverers understand how they are paid. Charlie decided to build GigCompare after he noticed that most gig platforms make it difficult to calculate net hourly hourly earnings, especially after expenses like gas and vehicle depreciation. Thanks to Bubble, he was able to turn his early stage design mockups into a functioning app in less than 2 weeks.
What problem does your project solve?
Charlie Kemp: The gig economy continues to grow, from ride hail services like Uber to delivery platforms like DoorDash and Instacart. However, it remains challenging for gig workers to fully understand how they are paid. In most cities, many workers earn less than the local minimum wage after accounting for expenses, and pay has been driven even lower for many workers and platforms in light of COVID-19. To address these problems, GigCompare makes it easier for gig workers to estimate their hourly net earnings, and to compare those earnings with other gig workers operating in their city.
How does your app work?
Right now, a gig worker needs to enter a few pieces of information from a recent pay statement, along with their city and the app they work for. GigCompare uses this information to calculate an hourly net earnings estimate using expense averages/benchmarks that are tracked in our database. From there, a user can compare their estimated hourly earnings against minimum wage and GigCompare’s estimate of average gig worker earnings in their city. The more workers who use GigCompare, the more accurate and detailed our estimates will become over time.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
While I consider myself technically literate, I’m not an experienced programmer. A no-code platform like Bubble was exactly what I needed at this stage. Bubble enabled me to build a functioning site from completed design mockups in less than 2 weeks. Database integration is especially useful! With Bubble, you are able to iterate quickly, which I expect to do frequently in the coming months.
What has been your traction or successes so far?
We’re not aggressively promoting the site (yet), but for those who are finding it, calculation rates are high. Having this first version live has made it much easier to get valuable feedback from gig workers and potential partners, which has helped guide our next steps.
What are your future plans for your app?
Product-wise, the main goal right now is to expand the level of detail and useful comparison information we can provide for workers. We rely on user-submitted info for this, so making the process as easy as possible for gig workers is key. Based on user feedback, the ability to scrape the required data from a pay stub would be a better solution than manual data entry, so we’re building an OCR tool to automate that process. In the near future we will also highlight which apps are paying most in a given city at any point in time, which will help workers quickly switch towards apps that treat them better.
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